Today we are going to be talking about Rites of passage. What are rights of passage and why are they important and why talk about them?
A rite of passage is a ceremony or event marking an important stages in one's life, birth, marriage, and death. In Mexican culture we have a Quincenera which marks the transition from adolescences to womenhood. But just think out about that for a second, you are only 15 yrs old. Times have changed! For me the Quincenera was blown way out of proportion. It was a party which we could not afford. It didn’t resonate with me at the time.
Some counties have a mandatory military service at 18, a pilgramage, some Americans join the military and go thru basic training. So a true right of passage is an event that is physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing. Where you are forced to dig deep, struggle, and even drop you to your knees, possibly literally. It is an experience that changes your life.
My Rights of passage were moving out of my home at a young age, getting an education, death of my brother, getting married, having a miscarriage and experiencing motherhood.
I’ve seen my clients got their their continual stages of life! Such as Childhood to Adolences, Adolence to become a Man or woman, leaving the house for the first time, finding a career, changing careers. Single to married life divorce, finding friendships at each of those stages. Imagine the hormones in puberty and menapause. Retiring or becomes empty nesters, the unexpected illnesses such as cancer, aneurisms, heart attacks and strokes. Losing a parent, partner, or even child, anyone close to you.
Rites of Passage is a time to listen to our intuition and to look for the wisdom in our situations. It’s a time to stop, pray, and meditate before we respond. If we don’t have elders, then be the elders of our time that discuss what are our responsibilities to ourself and to our community. Taking on issues that go beyond our physical body and impact your spirit and soul like taking care of your inner child, being in touch with your higher self and finding life’s purpose. And What does it mean to live a meaningful life?
I read a book this year that really help change my perspective. It’s called the Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol, by Tom Soloway Pinkson. PHD.
Rites of passages or these stage force you to stop pause and either will make you to reexamines who you are, or you will simply block them completely and never fully understanding them and leave them to because that what you were taught. Consider this a time.. when I really take a look at ourselves, and reflect or reexamine my life. We may have more time on our hands with this pandemic.
I know It takes work.. I am a continual work in progress! And I am constantly evolving through life, Do it with me! When we take the responsibility and the time to find the wisdom at those crucial moments, we find a spiritual platform and develop a foundation beyond the physical body.
Doing That may be the answer to the external conflict we are facing in today’s world with racism and inequality. It starts with us, by doing my unique part, that no one could have done it for me. I notice with my clients, I want them to success more than they do but that is their journey, their right of passage they must go through! Their lessons to be learned. I know they can do it and I know they will do to do it, when they are ready! I just try to support them by eliminating excuses and help them see what is possible.
Everyone must find their own way, not everyone grows up with 2 parents, speaking the same language, starts on the same social economic playing field, or are educationed, or have had parents that were educated . If we were lucky, we may have had at least one person who TOOK an interest in us and encouraged us. For me, I had great older sisters, teachers, AND friends. I had a great a social worker who helped me manage the responsibility that came with leaving my home at a young, my first rite of passage.
It takes strength to see those stages and experiences as rites of passage. To maintain a curious heart, and to grow the the birthing pains of life and handle them with compassion and treat ourselves and others around with respect. Consider these rites of passage as a way to find your own spiritual or moral compass, define your integrity, to teach you how much grit and resilience you have. This is a time to learn how to stand up and be a dissenter! Can you stand up for your convictions through adversity and opposition?!. Our customary mindset about who we are or why we do things may even undermine our ability to have a say in the ways things go from here. Think of your upbringing, family or cultural traditions, or social norms, can you see how they block you?
We can affect change in those norms. Think about what we have done as a country.. We’ve had a Black president, Interracial marriage is accepted, and support for gay rights have gained mainstream support, moved the needle with who gets to vote and have a say. I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg and what she accomplished in her time and life here and what Martin luther king Jr. did in his short life. Now Imagine what we could accomplish if evey one of us took responsibility of our actions instead of reacting.
You can create a right of passage, right now! What do you want to do? It’s for you!
It’s very scary to stand up for yourself and dig deep but you have to make your own way through life but it starts now!
We are in this huge transition with the Covid. So let’s do something positive! Let’s work on you.
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Adriana Medina Cagan, Mother, Latina Entrepreneur and Business Owner, Personal Trainer, and Podcaster